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It’s Really, Really Hot in the Southwest United States

In some cities, temperatures may breach 120°F this week.

The sun sets over Phoenix, AZ.
The sun sets over Phoenix, AZ. maliciousmonkey/CC BY-SA 2.0

“The MOAHW (mother of all heat waves) starts tomorrow,” Tucson-based meteorologist Eric Holthaus tweeted last night. The message was tinged with an understandable weariness—he was tweeting after 10PM, and the temperature had just dropped below 100°F for the first time all day.

For much of the southwestern United States, what has already been a long stretch of sizzling days is about to get even worse. “Predictions are for as many as 10 very hot days, with numerous high temperature records likely to be broken as the heat sets in,” Al Jazeera reported this morning.

It’s always hot in the desert in June—in early summer, “temperatures in Arizona, New Mexico, southern Nevada and Southern California typically climb to the highest they’ll be all year,” the Washington Post writes.

But the experts—and the numbers—agree that this is something else entirely. “[We’re] starting to sound like a broken record,” the National Weather Service in Phoenix wrote Friday morning, “but that’s because we will be breaking records next week.”

Phoenix, Arizona is likely to see the worst of it—temperatures in the city may reach 120°F on Tuesday or Wednesday. Relief (hopefully) comes Friday, as a cold front moves in. In the meantime, if you’re in the hotspots, hydrate, stay inside, and keep an eye on your friends and neighbors!